Fish factories shut with loss of nearly 70 jobs

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A FISH processor in north east Scotland has gone bust, resulting in the loss of nearly 70 jobs, the Press and Journal reported today.

Prime Seafoods, which also sells fresh fish, including salmon, online, shut down its two factories in Peterhead and Fraserburgh yesterday, telling its 68 employees that insurmountable financial difficulties were to blame.

One of the affected workers reportedly said: ‘At 1pm we were told the factory was closing due to lack of fish and overheads that are not sustainable.’

The last published accounts for the firm, up until the end of May 2018, show that Prime Seafoods had a turnover of £28 million and suffered pre-tax losses of £236,000, which came after a trading shortfall of more than £317,000 the year before, according to the P&J.

Chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association Jimmy Buchan said he was ‘shocked’ by the collapse of the firm, which has traded since 1980.

And he suggested that high businesses rates had also impacted on the business in recent years, and could be behind the closure.

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if other companies were to go the same way,’ he said. ‘It is a vulnerable industry in this current climate, but I think in this day and age this shouldn’t be happening.’

He said he hoped those affected would be able to find new jobs quickly because there is a demand for work in the area.

Buchan has previously warned that the UK government’s points based immigration policy, the details of which were announced yesterday, would hit the north-east, where there was a demand for semi-skilled workers.

‘We are dependent upon migrant workers from other EEA countries, which make up 48 per cent of the workforce as a whole and 70 per cent in the north east of Scotland, so it is vital that our members are able to gain continued access to this labour pool,’ he said.


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